B.C. dentists, physiotherapists will have to figure out social distancing to resume practice: IH | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. dentists, physiotherapists will have to figure out social distancing to resume practice: IH

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When pandemic restrictions are lifted, health care providers like dentists and physiotherapists will have to figure out how to comply with public health orders and recommendations just like everyone else, a spokesperson for Interior Health says.

In a livestreamed Interior Health Town Hall Thursday night, a Kelowna registered massage therapist raised the question of returning to work, as most of her clients are essential health care workers.

Interior Health's Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Sue Pollock expressed appreciation for how professions such as dentists and physiotherapists responded to the pandemic, noting that Interior Health recognizes the economic difficulty they may be facing.

“Those would be groups that would be great to see... able to come back as we start to ease up restrictions,” Dr. Pollock said. "I’m sure that they would have many ideas in terms of how they could ensure they are maintaining the important measures and ensuring that they’re practicing good infection direction control in their clinics and practices.”

She also said she was looking forward to serology blood tests, which are in the process of being validated and will soon be released in B.C. The test determines whether or not an individual has antibodies to a disease or virus.

Testing will give Interior Health an idea of how many people have had COVID-19, and how many of those may have immunity to the virus, particularly health care workers.

"It’ll be really interesting to look at as a starting point at our health care workers... to see how many of the health care workers potentially have immunity," she said. "If we were to able to determine how long that immunity lasts for COVID-19, those health care workers could get back to work and have a little bit more confidence as they’re working with patients with COVID-19."

A number of topics were touched on during the Townhall, including social distancing clarifications, SARS, and health practices put in place at golf courses.

Audience members whose questions were not answered in the Town Hall can submit them to Interior Health.

Where there are common themes, Interior Health will supply the requested information on their website, as they did with the first Town Hall several weeks ago.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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